I grew up working on my family's farm in a small town in the Southeastern corner of Missouri. Working through college, I graduated with a B.S. in Economics and went on to study law at the University of Tulsa where I graduated in 1996.
After law school, I returned to my hometown and opened a private law practice. Within a few months, I was appointed as the City Attorney, which meant drafting ordinances, applying for grants and every other piece of legal business that a small town conducts. Not long after, Governor Mel Carnahan appointed me mid-term as the Prosecuting Attorney for Mississippi County, Missouri. At the end of my appointed term, I ran for and won that seat in an election.
My wife and I moved to Charlottesville in 2004, where we are raising our two children, and I worked as an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Albemarle County before starting my own law firm. I have also worked as a civil rights attorney in the General Counsel's Office of the Department of Agriculture, and was the special prosecutor for domestic violence and sexual assault in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Outside of practicing law, I am proud to have served on the board of OneVirginia2021, advocating for a fair and transparent redistricting process. When I'm not working: I hunt, fish, camp with my kids, and love to travel. I also enjoy helping with my boys' Little League baseball teams.
I have spent my career representing the needs of my community, from making sense of zoning permits to fighting for the rights of domestic violence survivors. Who I am and where I come from makes me passionate about bringing jobs and opportunity back to our rural communities. I am the right person to represent the Democratic Party on the ballot in 2018, and I am the best candidate to represent Virginia's 5th district in the United States House of Representatives.